Awaj ED Nazma Akter was invited to speak about women’s empowerment in Bangladesh at the UN General Assembly side event organized by Women Deliver, a leading global advocacy organization that champions gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women. Titled, “Women Who Lead”, this high-level event brought together leaders from politics, businesses, and civil society, including former Prime Minister of Australia, Juila Gillard, former Foreign Minister of Somaliland Edna Adan, human rights defender Isatou Bittaye, French Secretary of State for Gender Equality and Anti-Discrimination, Marlene Schiappa, Head of Sustainable Impact at Hewlett Packard, Nate Hurst and CEO of Women Deliver, Katja Iverson.
At this power-packed panel of change-makers, Nazma Akter spoke about the need to change the perception that loud girls are bad girls. Norms in patriarchal societies often shun women who raise their voice, but we need to change this narrative.
She also emphasized the need to have men as allies in the struggle for women’s rights. If we are to affect structural changes such as dismantling gender norms or implementing paid parental leave, men have a crucial role to play to make sure that these are widely accepted and actualized.
The “Women Who Lead” event was held in New York on 25 September, 2018.